Radley’s Modern Foreign Languages department is proud of its history of encouraging large numbers of boys to develop their language skills at (I)GCSE and A Level.
Before their arrival at Radley, nearly all boys have studied French for two to five years at preparatory school. They are then placed into sets on the basis of their Common Entrance or Radley Scholarship results and a Baseline test which they sit during their first week at Radley. The top 24 boys in Year 9 (the Shells) study French, German and Spanish all at once; the rest take French and either Spanish or German.
Modern Languages dons work together towards a common goal and our teamwork makes us all the more effective as individual teachers. All 17 members of the department willingly and routinely offer support, share materials, and give advice as they are sought, and we communicate a genuine enthusiasm for our subjects to the boys that we teach. In addition, we offer sessions outside the timetable to help boys prepare for their oral exams, and provide specific topic guidance or grammar tuition. More often than not, this will take place during Central Hours, in the evening or on the weekend.
Annual trips in all three subjects allow boys vital first-hand access to the language they have chosen to study, hearing and speaking the language in its cultural context. Many Modern Languages dons are also native speakers, which allows boys to enhance their authenticity as speakers of target languages and appreciate finer nuances in cultural differences.
We use technology in innovative and creative ways as instructors, and the departmental server for all three languages acts as a valuable archive for teaching materials as well as a learning resource for pupils. After their time at Radley, many boys go on to read Modern Languages at university, including Oxbridge.
Through clear leadership and effective care that are provided within the department, all of its members feel supported and motivated to excel.
Beyond the timetable, Radley is able to support boys in pursuing their interests in languages that are not offered in the curriculum.
The college’s proximity to Oxford University means that we have access to a pool of suitable tutors who can give lessons at times that fit in with the busy school day.
We currently offer extension classes in Mandarin, Italian and Japanese, but in the recent past, boys have also been supported with GCSEs and other qualifications in Portuguese, Modern Greek and Dutch.
Boys interested in tuition in an extra-curricular language should contact the Head of Modern Languages to discuss availability and timings.